I don’t know about you, but my whole life I thought I understood suffering -- that was, until it really came knocking on my door with the death of my husband. Then it became personal, and just like that, the questions, doubts, and fears came rushing in all at once. Where was God in all of this? Would he be faithful to me? Could I make it without my husband? Did I have reason to hope like I had grown up believing?
These questions can be overwhelming and downright terrifying, but in my lowest moments, I found answers and hope in scripture, in Christ. When the tears were many and there was no place else to run, these words held me safe and gave the courage to take another step.
In the midst of your suffering, I urge you to turn to the only place you will find lasting hope and purpose in the pain. It won’t make all your problems disappear, but you will never be alone. God wants to meet you in your suffering -- He promises to. Take the timeless words of scripture and write them on your heart, day by day repeat them to yourself, and watch how they renew your mind and bring you to a place of contentment and trust in God.
1. God will be with you every step of the way!
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
2. You will feel like you can’t go on, but God WILL be your strength.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
3. God brings us a comfort like no one else can.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
4. God will bring the healing we desire!
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
5. Our suffering isn’t meaningless.
"For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
EVEN IN THE VALLEY, HE IS FAITHFUL ...
6. In the pain, Christ is gain! (Cheesy, but true!)
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8)
7. His heart is for the widow and the fatherless.
"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)
8. In the hardest moments of our lives, God is fighting for us.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
9. There is purpose in our pain.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
10. In the end, “all sad things come untrue.” (J.R.R Tolkien)
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
God was a not silent about those who suffer. In fact, scripture is full of His promises to meet you in the mourning. His Word makes it clear that He has not left us to make it alone. There is hope, respite, and even new joys to be found in Christ. Anchor yourself in His words and, though your boat may rock, it will never be thrown off course. He is faithful.